CEDAR GROVE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Some Essex County students who were not alive when the 9/11 terror attacks happened are doing their part to never forget.
For the fifth straight year, their school is organizing a moving tribute right on its front lawn.
With each flag they place in the ground, it’s a moment to reflect about those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.
Students plant 2,977 flags outside Cedar Grove High School in New Jersey – one for each person killed in the attacks. More than 90 countries lost citizens.
Junior Brian Catanzarite doesn’t remember that day. He wasn’t even alive 18 years ago.
But the display helps convey the impact on so many lives.
“Not only is it a person, it’s the whole family. So you just want to keep in mind why you’re doing it and who you’re doing it for,” he said.
It hits close to home for senior Francesca Catrone, whose father has told her about working downtown that day.
“He saw the buildings collapse. And to think that this could be happening right now in real life and to put that into perspective, anything can happen in the blink of an eye,” she said.
Now in its fifth year, Cedar Grove Waves is organized by resident and parent David Schoner.
“You come here, you see the magnitude of every flag. It stays with you and it causes a conversation,” he said.
The conversation continues inside, where students get involved in presentation for their classmates.
Principal Richard Mangili says it’s an important part of the school’s 9/11 remembrance.
“We want to educate our students and never forget our victims,” he said.
Cedar Grove students are learning where their responsibility begins.
“As we get older, it will become our job to keep telling the story of what happened,” said Catanzarite.
And the flags honoring the victims will help them tell that story.